A new drug that works in a different way to treat chronic lower back pain is welcome news for thousands of Georgians who struggle with chronic pain. A recent study found that Tanezumab, a nonopioid pain medication, works by inhibiting the nerve growth factor, a protein that can exacerbate back pain.
This is welcome news because other treatment options such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs are risky. These have typically been the only options for treating chronic low back pain. Opioids can be addictive. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are linked to gastrointestinal inflammation among other problems.
Tanezumab, however, works by lowering the sensitivity of the nervous system. This new approach to pain management appears to offer less critical side effects and perhaps a greater result. Chronic pain is one of the most frequent bases for Social Security disability benefits claims filed in Georgia and around the metro Atlanta region every year.
The researchers found that the drug not only reduced back pain, but also improved function. However, there are side effects associated with the drug. At least 2% of the subjects in the study suffered joint deterioration after taking the drug.